This is a software package written by an SCA
herald, for the use of SCA
heralds. That said, anyone can download and use it, if they wish ... it is "freeware".
Please keep in mind the phrase "You get what you pay for ..." -- in this
case, I hope that you won't be disappointed, but I cannot 100% guarantee that
everything will work the way you want it to, or expect it to; I cannot
guarantee it is completely bug free (although lord knows, I've tried!). Note
that I am interested in usability suggestions -- if there's something you think
could be done in an easier to use way, please feel free to drop me a note (Email
address is at the bottom of the page ...).
is to provide
a means of searching the SCA's
Ordinary and Armorial (OandA) database in a fashion that makes some sense with
a more intuitive interface than GREP or other UNIX based commands ... If you
would like to see some screen shots, click here ... Screen
The current version is in dBASE Plus, which is a Windows-based database software
package (some more detail at the bottom of this page). It can run in most versions
of Windows after Windows XP.
Go straight to the Data ...
Most Recent Version: 13.08, Updated: August, 2016
Included in the previous releases (the following are from 12.0 through 13.07):
- Version 12.00 (June 2014):
- Modified appearance of all forms to larger font size. After doing
a lot of research at a recent Heralds' meeting, I realized my eyes
were getting tired because of the size of the text, so figure I would
make it bigger. No reason not to, but it did take some rearranging of
screens and such.
- Added a "Return" button on the grid part of the search results screen.
- Modified code that when doing a search, when you return the original
search criteria is still there ... so you can modify it, or start over
for a new search. This also removes the need for the "CurrentSearch"
table, and that should be gone (also something you shouldn't notice).
- Modified "Save Query" code -- just leave the table. The old code
created the table used, if needed, but that seems silly. So it is now
just there ... This is something you probably won't even notice ...
- Added registration ID (Morsulus internal tracking number) so that if
you wish to report a data error to the Morsulus Herald, you can give
him the regid ... This appears on search results for both the name and
- Version 12.01 (July 2014):
- Noticed when using this in a Kingdom Heralds' meeting that returning
from an armory search was losing some functionality. Figured out it
was *ONE* line of code in the search program, commented that line out,
and all works as expected. D'oh.
- Minor cosmetic stuff on the Category search form. (Had some objects
slightly overlapping, which I hadn't noticed until now ...)
- Version 12.02 (December, 2014):
- Minor update to appearance of the message form (the one that displays
while processing information) to see more text.
- Results forms (results after search) -- double-click on grid will now
bring you to the main page with the details. Minor enhancement, but
might be useful and a bit more intuitive.
- Version 13.00 (March, 2015):
- IMPORTANT: Uninstall versions prior to 13.00 before installing this version.
- There is an issue when running the data import routines: do not take focus off
the application, or it may stop responding (literally). Let it run ... if you
do have this issue, then restart the app, if told that indexes are missing,
click "ignore" (possibly several times), and it allow it to continue the import of the data.
This is an issue that has been reported to the developers of dBASE.
- Updated for a new version of the underlying software (dBASE 9.5.1), minor internal
- Changed the way the images and icons are used (more internal mechanics).
- Change to primary icon (now workable with current version of dBASE, older versions
could not handle the images, for whatever reason).
- Most of this is so that upgrades to later versions of dBASE will be easier ...
(includes eventually a different database engine, which may change a lot of things,
details when/if they actually occur).
- Added images to the menus ... just because I could. (No, really ...)
- Version 13.01 (March, 2015):
- Fixed issue with taking focus off the app. (Minor code changes ...)
- Minor changes to installer, the Runtime install doesn't ask for
interaction, so it is closer to being "silent".
- The icon should appear on installation now.
- Version 13.03 (January, 2016):
- Minor appearance changes to Search by Category form -- updated
height of comboboxes (drop-downs) so that descenders (bottom parts
of characters like 'g', 'y', etc.) do not get cut off. Moved items
a bit to handle this change (so text was not on top of comboboxes,
- Same form -- after adding Cross Family, the clear features button
was not resetting this feature back to blank, now fixed.
- Version 13.04 (March, 2016)
- Changed copy to clipboard routines to trim some fields of extra
spaces which caused some strange formatting.
- Changed routine that reads my.cat into tables so that "Arm" and "Hand"
are placed in the "Beast (includes Human)" category, rather than
the "Other" category.
- Changed the armory search form to include words "and" and "or" for
selection groups of data, to make it more obvious which parts
use "and" and which parts use "or" for the logic ...
- Version 13.05 (April, 2016)
- Changes in "my.cat" -- category
and features data -- the addition of "Cotises" as a category,
and a feature set for those "ordinary", the search by category
form has been updated.
- "Cotises" appear under the primary category of "Ordinary".
- Cotises have the features associated with them of:
line, number, tincture, group and ordinary, the "ordinary"
feature set is new and will list the type of ordinary
the cotises surround (base, bend, etc.).
- The documentation (Category and Feature) have been updated
to reflect these.
- While researching above, two other changes occurred -- I am not
sure when they were added (I may have blinked and not noticed
an announcement or two) --
- Under "relations", there is a feature set called "chrelations",
and that's been added (dealing with "above").
- Feature set "style" which is used with critters for "heraldic"
versus "natural" has been added.
- Version 13.06 (May, 2016)
- Bug Fix -- in the Armory form, features: added some new lists but
didn't hook up the code to do anything when selecting them, so
Ordinary and Beast Type (the new lists) didn't actually add the
selected features. Fixed.
- Version 13.07 (May, 2016)
- Looking at other categories a few other items moved to more appropriate
places in the 'sub category' listings:
- "Birds" Category:
- "Beast" Category:
- Body Part
- "Monster" Category:
- "Ordinaries" Category:
- Added Avacal to the Kingdom table so that items registered
by and in that Kingdom appear as such. This was a dumb oversight
on my part, Morsulus added the code for Avacal some time ago.
- Version 13.08 (August, 2016)
- Categories again:
- Horn, Creature (not sure how I missed that before)
- Paw Print (same)
May have fixed an appearance issue that is a problem on Windows 10
with the dropdown lists -- they should be white, the default
color for these in Windows 10 appears to be grey. Have found
a "fix" for this. Minor issue that doesn't affect how the
application actually *works*, just how it *looks*.
Version 13.09 (November, 2016)
Added a "See Criteria" button on the search results form (on
the grid page), this is loaded from the search criteria, displays
a yellow window below the button with the text in it. The window
may seem too large for some of what is being displayed, unless
you have a lot of data to display ...
Some updates in search routine for names with name equivalencies.
Was finding searches were not getting all permutations of what is
stored in the 'Equiv' table when doing language equivalencies.
I believe this is working properly, but am not an onomastics expert.
Some minor appearance issues. The dropdown "fix" in the previous version
didn't really fix the problem, and the attempted fix caused problems
in the way the dropdowns work. The fix should be reverted back and they
may be grey.
This software will not work on Windows XP -- it should be fine on
Windows 7, 8 and 10 (see below for Windows 7 and 8 concerns).
The underlying software (dBASE) has been upgraded
several times, and the last few iterations do not work with Windows XP --
there are some major differences in aspects of the software, and backward
compatibility can only go so far. Apologies for any inconvenience!
- Linux User? See below ...
- Download the software (see below) -- note it may take a long time (depending
on your internet connection), as the executable for the install program
is approx. 18 megabytes in size. A good portion of this is the installer
for the Borland Database Engine -- I have no control over that, sorry.
OandA 13.09 32-bit Installer -- Download this.
- When the program is done downloading, right click the file "OandA13_09.exe",
and select "Run as Administrator", particularly under Windows 10.
The install has gotten a little cleaner -- you are not asked about the
Borland Database Engine or the runtime installers, they just go and install.
One less question in the process, anyway ...
- It is not a good idea to install
this on a network -- unlike SQL databases, a result set from a query will
attempt to return the whole database, not just the result set, which will
slow it down, and on a network can cause a bottleneck. It is best to install
on a local machine, and is really what it was designed for.
and does not finish, then the
Microsoft Anti-Spyware program may be causing some conflict(s).
- You may want to read the "README.TXT" file that is in the program group
- Once you have the
program installed, you will want to get hold of the latest copy of the data
from Morsulus -- see instructions below for that.
- When you have the latest data from Morsulus, run the OandA program from
the program group, and then select "Import".
To run the install program right click the file in Windows Explorer, and
select "Run as administrator". This will allow everything to install properly.
There is a warning about the application not being a "commonly downloaded" one
you may have to deal with -- use the "more information" link, and the
"Run anyway" option.
- -- Yosef Alaric downloaded the beta
(3/15/2012), and installed the OandA. He notes the following:
"I ran the O&A program through the current Windows 8 Consumer Preview (32 bit version) and
there are no great surprises. You do not need to run as Administrator any longer, ....
On downloading you get a warning that the executable is not a commonly downloaded and run
program (well, duh!) and that you should be careful. I think the warning only pops up once
in Win 7, but you get it twice in Windows 8. When that happens you need to click on the
"more information" link if it appears and then on "Run anyway."
- If you have any problems, please let me know, see the Contact information
This version was written completely in dBL, the programming language of dBASE
There may be other improvements down the road, but unless people tell me areas
that need work, I won't know about them (hint, hint!).
You need to have data for the OANDA system -- you can get it from a few places,
but the one that is most up-to-date is the site maintained by the Morsulus Herald
of the SCA's College
of Arms. There are two files you need, and you must follow the directions carefully
-- otherwise your browser may add ".htm" or ".html" to the filename as an exension,
which is not real useful.
The Morsulus herald has decided to release the data on a monthly basis starting
in February, 2014. I will update the data here, and if you are on my mailing list, you
will receive an email every time the data has been updated, in case you want the update.
- Option 1 -- download
the installer (below) containing the data, which may not be updated quite as often
as Morsulus updates things, but attempts will be made to keep this updated
... This has the advantage of being smaller, so it won't take as long to
download as the other option.
- Click on the link below. This will ask if you want to download the
file: OandAData.exe (or depending on your computer's setup, may
ask if you want to run the file, etc.). Suggest you download
it if you are asked options.
OandAData.exe (Dated May 23, 2017
(Covering LoARs up to March, 2017))
This installer is set up to work with the version 11.00 and later
of the OandA program (see above), setting specific registry keys so that the
program knows where the data is.
- Once this has been downloaded, go to the place it was downloaded
to and run it (Double-click it, or whatever). Note that if you
have installed version 11.04 (or later) of the OandA program, this will
install the files directly to the folder that the OandA program
was installed to. If not, it will give a default location, which
you can change ...
- Run the "Import" or "Translate" option (depending on the version
of the software you have).
- Option 2 -- download from the Morsulus Herald's Website -- this
is likely to be the most accurate/up-to-date version of the data:
- Click on the link below. When the file starts loading in the browser,
use your browsers' File menu, and select "Save As ...". Select the
location to save to (the same place the OANDA software was installed
to, i.e., C:\OANDA or wherever you installed it to). -- if you do NOT put the .DB extension
there, the browser will put its own extension on the file.
- When the Oanda.db file is done, click on the Location/Address field in
your browser, and
go to the end of the address above. Delete the second "oanda" and
type: my.cat (note, this MUST be entered in lower-case, or you will
get a "404" error from the webserver, telling you the file doesn't
exist ...). Once again, use the File menu, and select "Save As ..."
( or anything like
- When both of these files are downloaded, copy them to the folder
with the OandA tables, then load (run) the OANDA software, and run
the import (or translate) routines.
On a Windows 7 (or Windows 8) computer this will be:
On a Windows 10 computer, this will be:
Where "username" above is YOUR windows username. To see this path in the File
Explorer, you may need to modify a setting in the File Explorer:
Click the "View" tab at the top
Click the "Options" button on the far right
Click "Change folder and search options"
Click the "View" tab on the dialog window
Click "Show hidden files, folders, and drives"
Doing this will allow you to see the "AppData" folder under your
Kolfinna Hrafnkelsdottir sent me the following, which may be of use, if you wish to use this
application on a Linux machine (with the WINE emulator):
"... I tested the OandA software on my Linux install and fiddled until I got it working.
"This was tested under LinuxMint Release 8 (Helena), using Wine version 1.1.43. It requires that Winetricks
be installed, and the packages vcrun2005 and vcrun2005sp1 installed through Winetricks. (Mint is a fork of
Ubuntu, which is one of the more widely-used versions of Linux, so it's a fairly good representative
distro. I can't speak for the umpteen-zillion other *nix derivatives.)
"If the data is installed from the .exe: In order for OandA to 'read' the oanda.db and my.cat files (and start normally),
it is necessary to copy everything except the doc file and oanda.exe from the C: drive it is automatically installed to into
the user's "/home/(username)/.wine/dosdevices/z:/home/(username)" file. I don't know enough about how Linux functions to
venture a guess why, or how to fix it.
From Hirsch: My guess is that the Linux/Wine combination does not emulate the Windows Registry in the same
way as a "pure" Windows computer would. The data installer looks in the registry for the location to store
the files. -- HvH
"The program works much better if the oanda.db and
my.cat files are saved off the oanda.sca.org website instead.
There's still four or five error messages to click through, but it works! (Which is everything you can ask when
running a Windows program on a Linux install, really.)" -- Kolfinna Hrafnkelsdottir
From Hirsch: If you choose this method of working with the data files, be sure to save them in the folder with the OandA.exe
file, and for the Oanda.db file -- do not forget to add the .db file extension -- it is not automatically there, and
if the extension is not part of the filename, the program will not recognize it.
Again, not sure where the files would be installed for the Wine/Linux installation, but for version 11.00 and later
you will want to find where the tables are stored. Look for "armorial.dbf" for example. There should be a "Data" folder,
which is the "live" data -- that is the one to place Oanda.DB and My.Cat into. There is also an "EmptyTables" folder,
which is exactly what it sounds like. This is for the (hopefully) rare occurance where the data has been totally
screwed up ... don't place the files from Morsulus there. -- HvH
A couple of notes ...:
First, I make no claims that the software is perfect, but I did put a lot
of work into it. If you have a problem with it, please drop me an email (address
below) with details -- preferably with exact steps to reproduce the problem.
Second, I am always interested in suggestions for ways to improve the software. I may
think you have a great idea and run with it, I may ask a bunch of questions if you
toss an idea at me, but ... I am interested.
Contact/About the Author
author of this software ...
Hirsch von Henford is a companion of the Orders of the Laurel and the Pelican
in the West Kingdom, a Baron of the Court of the West, and holds a variety of
other honors and awards over the 30 years or so he's been in the SCA. In addition,
during his career in the SCA he has been a herald most of that time, and has held
positions including Principality Herald (Stellanordica and Sea Wolf) for two
of the West's Principalities, a variety of Kingdom staff positions, including
a tenure as Vesper Principal Herald. Currently he is the Golem Herald for the
West Kingdom (handling the Herald's website, award list, and a variety of other
computer oriented things).
Ken Mayer (Hirsch's real-world alter-ego) was a Software Quality Assurance
Engineer for dBASE, Inc., testing the software for
flaws. Many projects written for the SCA have helped find bugs in the software,
so in the process of writing this software, I was actually doing my job as well
(nice trick, eh?). Currently I am looking for work,
and still tinker with dBASE as a hobbiest, and an author (having written The dBASE Book, now
in its third edition; The dBASE Reports Book, now in its second edition, and
The dBASE Book Plus).
If you really want more info about me, see: